The tyranny of air travel continues. But every day, the resistance grows.

Today brings us word of another attempt by the allies of freedom to fight against the invasive and demeaning tactics our government uses against air travelers. There’s been a lawsuit filed by financial consultant Malinda Knowles against JetBlue Airways.

Her allegation? An airline worker asked her to confirm that she was wearing panties.

Knowles claims that was escorted off the plane, then made to lift up her shirt. Even after she showed her drawers to the worker’s satisfaction, she was still booted off of the flight.

And this wasn’t even ordered by a member of the TSA goonsquad under some BS security rationale. Knowles was allegedly asked to flash a JetBlue worker to confirm that she met with JetBlue’s dress code….

I swear I’m sure the Visigoths shared stories like this about the way the Romans treated them as they prepared to march on the eternal city. From the Daily News (gavel bang: ABA Journal):

Malinda Knowles, 27, claims in a Queens Supreme Court lawsuit that a JetBlue supervisor put a walkie-talkie between her legs to see what she had on under her baggy T-shirt.

“He said, ‘I don’t want to see your panties or anything but do you have any on?'” Knowles recalled yesterday.

“I didn’t want to show him anything. He wanted me to basically show him my crotch. I was completely humiliated. It was vulgar. It was macho. It was rude.”

The most offensive thing is that not only do we live in a world where freaking airline workers can ask us to strip, we get in trouble when we resist:

After showing off her shorts, Knowles returned to the plane, but was told by the same walkie-talkie-wielding supervisor that the pilot would not take off with her aboard.

“He said, ‘The captain is refusing to fly you today. We need to remove you from the flight,'” said Knowles, quoting the supervisor. “We need to remove you from the flight.”

As passengers grew upset and grumbled about the delay, Knowles acquiesced.

Got Panties? JetBlue wants to know.

If we don’t reestablish some personal boundaries for air travelers, things are going to get ugly. We’ve seen it time and again throughout history: these kinds of petty humiliations can lead to violence, when a freedom-loving people becomes fed up with the mistreatment. You hope cooler heads will prevail, you hope any and all disobedience remains civil, but as Radio Raheem once said on a very hot day, people need to WAKE UP.

Working for the TSA or the airline industry doesn’t give you the right to molest travelers. The law needs to get involved now, before people start defending their liberties with their own hands.

Harlem woman sues JetBlue after officials question if she’s wearing underwear, kick her off flight [Daily News]
Woman Sues Jet Blue, Says She Was Kicked Off Flight Until She Could Prove She Had Underwear On [ABA Journal]


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